Brian’s pretty good with the few letters he’s got left. It’s no wonder they keep paying him to churn out that kind of letter sorcery.

Today is Valentine’s Day. It’s definitely not the best holiday, but it’s certainly better than Columbus Day. I’d rather celebrate unrealistic ideals about romantic love than Eurocentric nonsense any day.

This website is really just a front for posthumously insulting the memory of Christopher Columbus…

Like many people I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. I don’t see anything particularly wrong with celebrating love, but the romantic ideal present in the minds of many modern Americans seems to be a fairly unrealistic one and the ways in which we’re taught to express this ideal seem silly and contrived. I’ve been seeing a lot of cell phone commercials now about how you should purchase a phone for the person you love and there have been car commercials about the same thing since I was a kid. What do cars and cell phones have to do with idealized love, exactly? Does the car represent some kind of physical manifestation of that love? Is the phone some kind of symbol for the brilliant communication that happens in the context of your relationship? If so, I hope you didn’t get him or her a phone with an AT&T plan. Your love is going to drop so many calls.

Every year, jerks like me point the finger at Valentine’s Day and start shouting about how full of crap it is. Why? Mostly because it’s a commercially motivated holiday that preys on peoples’ unrealistic notions about romantic love. There’s nothing wrong with taking a day to appreciate the love in your life, especially in the hectic world we live in today, but it seems silly to have to buy things to show that love. If it were just about spending time with someone or doing something nice, I’m sure most people wouldn’t have an issue with it. Sure, it’d be nice if everyone could express and appreciate love every day, but it’s tough for a lot of people when they’re working full time and trying to care for their families.

The other problem, for a lot of people, is that Valentine’s Day and sappy romantic movies and the like create unrealistic expectations about love. True love may exist, but it certainly doesn’t happen for everyone. The problem is that when you’re surrounded by images of love just happening and working perfectly forever, you feel cheated when your relationships don’t pan out like that. Love, like everything else in this world, is a process. It requires awareness, time, and, quite often, a lot of work to maintain. You don’t plant a garden and immediately get flowers, these things take time to grow.

Unfortunately, blaming modern media or holidays like Valentine’s Day for creating this view is not historically accurate. Human beings are sappy creatures, our stories have always been full of crap with regards to love, especially here in the west. Everyone from the Greeks to the Celts has, at some point, pushed stories of idealized love. Sure, the people of the past didn’t do it quite as much and they didn’t have the internet or movie theaters to help them do it, but it still happened. So it’s not exactly realistic to get angry with “modern media” over it.

What it really comes down to is that if Valentine’s Day jives with you, you should enjoy it. Spend the time with your loved one (or loved ones!) and really appreciate them, don’t buy into the commercial garbage if you can help it. Do something nice for someone you love and spend time with them. If you’re not into the holiday, let others celebrate it how they please and appreciate the love you have the way you do.

There’s room for everyone around here.

To those of you that don’t like it, Happy Tuesday. To those that do enjoy it, Happy Valentine’s Day.

Oh woops, let me get into the proper spirit of the holiday. A-hem!

Hpy Vltnes Dy!

There we go.